Day Break: McDonald’s Finally Approves All-Day Breakfast

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McDonald's All-Day Breakfast

After launching various experiments ranging from burger customization to ethical sourcing, maybe CEO Steve Easterbrook’s best answer to what ails McDonald’s will be to do more of what is already working: breakfast.

So after getting an approval vote by its franchisees, the chain has taken the long-rumored step of offering breakfast items all day at its more than 14,300 US restaurants, reports National Restaurant News. This will comprise what the Wall Street Journal called it “biggest operational change in years.” McDonald’s also is improving breakfast by substituting butter for margarine in its breakfast sandwiches.

Although testing started in March, the Golden Arches will begin the move on October 6. It will certainly be welcome by the millions of McDonald’s customers who have pined for an extension of breakfast sales past the chain’s traditional 10:30 a.m. cutoff. The Egg McMuffin has been around since 1971 and breakfast bagel sandwiches since 1999, and there are few truer Mickey D’s aficionados than those who show up regularly for one of those delicacies.

And McDonald’s is certainly milking the announcement for marketing gold. It sent tweets directly to the 120,000 or so people who this year have said they wanted an all-day McDonald’s breakfast. The chain even reached out to the first handful of people who floated the idea on Twitter—some of them years ago—and offered then a free “brunch.”

“We’re engaging one on one with all the people who asked about it,” McDonald’s USA CMO Deborah Wahl told Nation’s Restaurant News. All-day breakfast “makes people happy.”

On Tuesday, after the official announcement, tweeters returned the favor, mentioning McDonald’s 10,000 times in the first 90 minutes.

“This is the consumers’ idea,” USA President Mike Andres told the Journal. “This is what they want us to do. That’s why I think this could be the catalyst for our turnaround.”

Well hold on just a minute. The reason McDonald’s didn’t do this sooner is the vast operational challenges involved in fixing eggs-centric breakfast items next to burgers and fries. It’ll cost about $500 to $5,000 per restaurant to make the switch now, and McDonald’s limited the all-day breakfast at this point to only one type of breakfast sandwich after 10:30 a.m., which will be McMuffins in most markets and biscuit sandwiches in the South.

But for now, McDonald’s customers may be satisfied with that. All-day breakfast of any sort has been a long time coming.

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